Ed Sheeran hopes to foreshadow his Billboard numbers with “+”
This review can also be found in this morning’s Spencer Daily Reporter.
It’s certainly optimistic of Ed Sheeran as a singer/songwriter to title his debut album +, as if to say “my songs will only add to your love of music.”
And he certainly does not disappoint. Sheeran, a native of Halifax and Framlingham, has already gone quadruple platinum in the UK. Yes–quadruple. That equation would read: platinum + platinum + platinum + platinum. And only now is voyaging across the pond to us.
He’s got the best of American pop culture going for him: He looks kind of like Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter franchise, you can see him featured in Sheeran’s Lego House video); he sounds kind of like a British-infused Howie Day, and he constructs his words and rhythms kind of like Jason Mraz.
If you watch VH1’s Jump Start morning program, you’ve no doubt seen his video for The A Team (featured above). It’s acoustic and upbeat, even though the lyrics are anything but.
And she don’t want to go outside tonight / And in a pipe she flies to the Motherland / Or sells love to another man / It’s too cold outside / For angels to fly.
It’s evocative and beautiful, though possibly not for the children, thematically speaking.
But not every song is as lyrical as The A Team. For a ginger-headed white boy, he’s got rhythm. Listen to You Need Me, I Don’t Need You if you don’t believe me. (Better yet, watch the video).
As I’m writing this review, I’ve listened to this album approximately four times, directly on top of each other. And it’s still not old. I love how he mixes his genres: separating the hip-hop (You Need Me, I Don’t Need You) with the sad singer/songwriter melodies (The A Team and Small Bump) with truly beautiful ballads (Wake Me Up and Kiss Me). And then he taps into whatever indigenous roots he’s got deep down in his family tree with Give Me Love. By the time the album’s over, it’s a valid question to ask, “what can’t this guy do?”
If naming his album + is a sign for where he hopes to go in his career as much as I believe it is a sign for where he hopes this album goes, I guarantee we’ll see more of him.
A note for parents: There’s a few songs with thematic elements (namely, The A Team) and a few with questionable language (namely, You Need Me, I Don’t Need You) with questionable language. The language, however, is more a testament to his British-ness than it is anything else.